Watching Jesus Camp on Hulu it occurred to me that most of our children in the western world are raised this way, whether believers or not.
Instead of welcoming our children into the human race to form their own unique personality, they are here on probation—simply candidates for humanity. (1) Instead of letting them know up front that our particular way is only one particular set of rules for life (that when they are older they can make their own rules) but are only accepted fully if they behave properly of their own freewill. Whatever you do—we can either praise you or blame you, so if nothing else, at least pretend you are one of us until your old enough to care for yourself.
Undoing what was done to us when we were young is new age enlightenment —through psychotherapy.
My children know that house rules are simply temporary ways of having family cohesion, and they are encouraged to know that whoever they are, they are loved and accepted by me.
My way isn’t the only way, but to the children it is a breath of fresh air to know that compliance to some of the things they don’t like—is only temporary. There is nothing wrong with them if they start to see things differently.
Whereas, my evangelical niece was shunned and criticized for not speaking in tongues and is now living estranged from her family.
(1) Alan Watts